Kherson is “ours”, says Zelenskyy – DW – 11/11/2022

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday that the southern city of Kherson was “ours” after Russia announced its withdrawal was complete.

“Our people. Ours. Kherson,” Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram. “Today is a historic day. We are retaking Kherson.”

He said special units of the armed forces were inside Kherson and other Ukrainian troops were approaching the outskirts.

“The people of Kherson waited. They never gave up on Ukraine,” Zelenskyy added later in a video address. “So will the cities that are still waiting for us to take them back.”

Zelenskyy: “Today is a historic day”

To view this video, please enable JavaScript and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

His announcement came as videos posted on social media showed cheering crowds of residents celebrating in the streets and saluting Ukrainian soldiers as they entered the city.

Ukrainian and European Union flags could also be seen raised above a monument in Kherson’s main square.

Earlier, Ukrainian intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov told The Associated Press that “an operation to liberate Kherson” and the surrounding region of the same name was underway.

Russia has abandoned the only regional capital it has captured since its invasion in FebruaryImage: Cover-Images/IMAGO

The retreat of Russian forces marks a major setback for Moscow, with the city of Kherson being the only major Ukrainian regional capital to fall to the Russians since the start of the war. The region is also a strategic gateway to the Crimean peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

“Ukraine is winning another important victory right now and proving that whatever Russia says or does, Ukraine will win,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

The White House has called the city’s takeover a “remarkable thing” for Ukraine.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, “It looks like the Ukrainians have just won an extraordinary victory where the only regional capital that Russia captured in this war is now back under a Ukrainian flag.”

Here are the other headlines from the War in Ukraine on Friday, November 11:

Conflicting reports on the Russian retreat

Prior to the entry of Ukrainian forces into the city of Kherson, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that all of its troops had withdrawn. He said 30,000 soldiers had been transferred to the left bank of the Dnipro River without losing a single soldier and leaving “not a single piece of military equipment”.

But Ukraine’s defense intelligence unit disputed that, saying in a tweet that more than half of the Russian forces that were stationed on the right bank of the river were still there.

Moscow announced earlier this week that he planned to withdraw his forces from the right bank of the Dnipro, where the city of Kherson is located.

Ukrainian officials expressed skepticism at the announcement and said it would likely take days or even weeks for Russian troops to fully withdraw from Kherson.

Russian bloggers describe a chaotic retreat from Kherson

To view this video, please enable JavaScript and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

Germany to send more air defense aid to Ukraine: Scholz

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Berlin’s priority in helping Ukraine should be to strengthen defenses against air raids in cities and rebuild infrastructure.

“Russia is bombing Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Russia wants to make sure that Ukrainians cannot survive the winter cold,” he said in an onstage interview with RND newspapers.

“We are currently discussing with many German companies what they can do to counter this destruction.”

Scholz added that the air defense systems Germany had provided so far had played an important role and that Berlin would work with partners to send more.

Earlier, the German Chancellor agreed in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that more air defense systems would be provided.

Scholz also told the audience that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin had long been planning to invade Ukraine.

“I am convinced that Putin decided on this war two years ago,” he said. “We saw the troops build up… We hoped these were just threatening gestures, but they weren’t: it was a long war to plan.”

Russia bans entry of 200 US nationals, including Biden’s relatives

Moscow says it has barred entry to 200 US citizens, including President Joe Biden’s siblings and a number of senators.

The move is a response to Washington’s sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the list of people included officials, their relatives, business leaders and experts “involved in promoting the Russophobic campaign and supporting the Kyiv regime”.

Among those blacklisted are Biden’s sister Valerie and brothers James and Francis, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

They join the more than 1,000 US citizens already barred from entering the country.

Russian strike kills 5 in Mykolaiv, governor says

A regional governor said at least five people were killed after a Russian strike hit a residential building in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv.

“A strike in a five-story residential building. Destroyed from the 5th to the 1st floor,” wrote Mykolaiv regional governor Vitaliy Kim on social media.

Russian forces repeatedly struck the city for months. Zelenskyy said the latest strike was a “cynical response to our successes at the front”, in an apparent reference to Ukraine’s advances in the Kherson region.

Strategic bridge near Kherson collapses: reports

Ukraine’s public broadcaster reported that the already damaged Antonivskiy Bridge had collapsed.

The strategic bridge was the only road crossing from Kherson to the eastern bank of the Dnipro under Russian control.

The condition of the bridge and the timing of its reported collapse could help determine whether Russian forces have withdrawn from the city of Kherson or not.

Russian media suggested that the bridge was shelled after Russian troops withdrew.

But a Russian official based in the Kherson region told Interfax that the bridge had not exploded and was “in the same condition”.

UN and Russian officials discuss extension of grain deal

UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci said talks between Russian officials and UN chiefs were underway in Geneva in a bid to extend a deal on grain exports.

“It is hoped that the discussions will advance progress made in facilitating the unimpeded export of food and fertilizers from the Russian Federation to world markets,” Vellucci said.

The United Nations seeks to renew a Black Sea agreement on the export of grain from Ukraine is due to expire on November 19.

Moscow has complained that another agreement which exempts Russian fertilizers from sanctions is “not being respected”. This agreement runs for three years.

EU and partners agree €1 billion to improve Ukraine’s export routes

The European Union has pledged to boost efforts to export Ukraine’s grain harvest via alternative cargo routes to Black Sea ports by 1 billion euros ($1.04 billion) .

The European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank will invest the funds to improve and expand the “pathways of solidarity”.

The investments will expand land and river transport between Ukraine and neighboring countries Poland, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia and Hungary.

They also allow Kyiv to bring fuel or humanitarian aid into the country.

Before the war, Ukraine mainly traded through its major Black Sea ports, but they were blocked by forces from Moscow when the invasion began.

In July, a UN-brokered deal with Turkey helped the flow of grain shipments restart. However, the necessary security safeguards are not in place for other goods.

“Where Russia sowed destruction, Europe gave hope,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said as she announced the additional funding on social media.

mm, fb/wmr (AFP, AP, Reuters)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *